22nd June, 2012
Onakoya Biola is one of the five Nigerian quatermilers who broke the 46 seconds record at the Calabar trials. The University of Texas in El Paso’s undergraduate student holds the pre-championships best time of 46.06 seconds, which he achieved last month in New Orleans, Los Angeles in the USA. He told ADEBOBOLA ALAWODE in this interview that he has what it takes to smash the record held by former Technical and Performance Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, the late Sunday Bada.
You left Nigeria in January, how has it been?
It has been good for me. I give God the glory for helping me to achieve the little that I had been able to achieve.
How about settling down at your new base?
I’m adapting to my new environment. Although it’s been hectic changing environment, yet I just have to get on with life.
With just a stint in the USA, you have broken a record?
The secret behind my success could be attributed to God and hardwork. I don’t like playing second fiddle wherever I found myself. I’ll rather be the winner than settle for any other position.
You’ve competed in Nigeria, Africa and the world, how will you rate athletics in Nigeria with what of the USA?
There is a huge difference. Nigeria is far behind in this regard. The training techniques and facilities are different. When I was in Nigeria my training was quite different. The facilities in the States are good compared to what we have here in Nigeria.
You have been touted as the ‘New Sunday Bada’?
I don’t like such comparison. The former Technical and Performance Director of the AFN, the late Sunday Bada came and left making his mark, but Onakoya Biola is another athlete entirely. With due respect to the late champion, he was a role model to a lot of athletes but I don’t want to be compared to him.
What about the record Bada held before he died?
As much as I adore the late Bada, both of us are coming at separate periods, but I know with God on my side I can surpass and break the record he set during his lifetime.